I feel another biography coming on…
The thing is, as a fifty-something, I resisted going online (or “on the air”, as I prefer to call it) for YEARS, since I figured the whole Interweb business was a huge great steaming pile of POO. But I eventually succumbed when the established forms of communication (the mail service – see elsewhere in these ramblings – and texting) began moving that way TOO.
And I discovered that while most of the gazillion bytes of stuff on it are indeed a huge (etc.) – possibly including MY scribblings – there is still much there that is useful. Like I’ve been able to FILL my Wish-List of obscure records, tapes and DVDs – some of which I’d been after for HALF A CENTURY.
Then there’s the info. You can look ANYTHING up on the web – just type in “Why do cats eat grass?” and you’ll get the answer. But like everything else on this system, you sometimes have to wade through a lot of garbage to find it.
One of the GIANT CONS is the number of services that promise to give you a Bio of someone – then when you check the site, it says “We don’t actually know sh*t about this person – would YOU like to write up a piece on them?” CHEEK! And stupid; if I KNEW about them, I wouldn’t be coming to YOU to find out, now would I?
Anyhoo, I have watched and listened to Sandi Toksvig for about twenty years now. She first appeared on (British) Channel Four in various shows, including “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and a short-lived sitcom with rolly-polly American comedian, Mike McShane. Then she did a run as team captain in “Call My Bluff”, opposite the late Alan Coren.
At the same time and since, she has made appearances on many other comedy programmes, culminating in her present main gig – The Chair of “The News Quiz” – a popular topical radio panel show. And it was her appearances on this show that triggered my curiosity about Ms Toksvig’s private life.
She has made several references to her children – but at the same time, has dropped hints that she’s gay. Now of course, the one does not necessarily preclude the other – but nevertheless, I wanted ANSWERS. And of course, the Interweb GAVE me them. So for OTHER nosy people, here’s what I’ve gleaned…
Apparently Ms Toksvig was born fifty-one years ago, to a Danish couple (obviously) and her Dad was a foreign correspondent for Danish TV – which resulted in her moving around a lot. She seems to have spent most of her formative years in the U.S., but at fourteen, her family came to England where her (again, obvious) intelligence lead her into academia. I.e., she ended up at Hull Uni – then Cambridge.
And it was at that place, she fell in with a bad crowd – the legendary Cambridge Footlights artists – which have included Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Clive Anderson, Morwenna Banks, David Baddiel, Tony Slattery and pretty much the entire cast of “I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Her contemporaries included Hugh Lawrie and Stephen Fry.
Furthermore, all traces of her American dialect disappeared, to be replaced with an accent that makes this diminutive Dane sound like the young Margaret Rutherford.
Okay, but what about those kids and her sexual orientation? Well, it transpires she came out fifteen years ago. At the time, she was supporting the Save The Children Fund – but they got snitty over her announcement regarding her sexuality and dumped her. However, after a demonstration by a lesbian action group, the STCF backed down and apologised.
As for the kids – yes. She has three. Two girls – now aged nineteen and twenty-one – and a boy of fifteen. She appears to have had three serious relationships, the first of which produced the kids. Their father (by means of artificial insemination) was Christopher Lloyd-Pack. Little is known of him, apart from the fact that he works as a stage-manager.
He may be a son of the late, distinguished character-actor, Charles Lloyd-Pack, which in turn would make him the brother of Roger (“Trigger”) Lloyd-Pack – but this writer has found no evidence to support this (apart from the possibly-coincidental, unusual surname). But now we are straying from the subject.
Although this piece is just about finished anyway. Ms Toksvig is a hard-working professional comedienne, writer and performer whose life might well make interesting reading. Perhaps, as a writer herself, she may put it into book form some day. And her having BEEN there, it will likely be a tad more comprehensive than THIS effort.
And if she does write it all up, this author will be sure to read it. In addition to having known some very interesting people and having been everywhere and done everything – she might deign to answer the one question I’ve been unable to, during my research…
As her current civil partner has taken her name – Toksvig – it seems likely that Ms Toksvig wears the trousers (literally and figuratively) in their relationship. But if that is so – how come it was SHE who gave BIRTH in her earlier union?
Of course, that’s really none of my – or your – damn business!
I wrote the above rambling piece three and a half years ago and more info is now available. It turns out (as a commenter pointed out) that it was her then-partner Peta who gave birth to Sandi’s children. So THAT mystery is solved.
Meanwhile, should Sandi stumble across this piece (unlikely, but you never know) I would like to wish her luck in her career and life. She has settled in nicely on “The News Quiz” – and I never miss an episode.